Miami United FC, who plays in American soccer’s fourth-tier in the NPSL, has received a welcome boost up front in the form of ex-Brazil international Adriano.
The striker has not played since 2014 after leaving Atletico Paranaense due to weight issues and depression, which he has dealt with for the majority of his career.
However, it looks like Adriano has bigger aspirations than the NPSL.
The 33-year-old is targeting an eventual move to Major League Soccer, according to Miami United president Robert Sacca.
“The NPSL is a high level. It’s a plus for the league to have such a player like Adriano. But for sure he chose us as a first step to go to MLS, it’s a place he deserves to be,” Sacca told English newspaper the Daily Telegraph.
“We’re really happy to have him – and we’re going to take care of him very well and hopefully we will see him maybe next year in MLS. He was one of the best No 9s in the world and, without pressure he can do a great job for Miami United and then go to MLS.
“He wants to go there. He is still young, he is only 33 and if he plays at 25 per cent of how he was, he can play in MLS with his blind eyes.”
Sacca also claims that Adriano has cut 18 pounds and is raring to rejuvenate his career.
Adriano isn’t the first player to go down this route. Former Swansea City striker Michu recently signed with a fourth-division side in Spain to build up his fitness, so this is not out of the ordinary.
If the Brazilian can build up his match fitness, teams such as the Colorado Rapids could benefit from signing him.
Adriano scored 27 times in 48 appearances with Brazil, and 107 league goals in 241 games at club level. He was perhaps best known for his time with Inter, when he bagged 48 goals in 123 matches in two stints with the Nerazzurri.